John Digweed's Post Twilo Plans- 'There's No Rush'
Saturday, June 23, 2001These days synoymous with his long term DJing partner Sasha, progressive trance DJ John Digweed is one of the world's most popular DJs. Climbing to the top gradually,
he started his career in the early 90s with his own Bournemouth clubnight Bedrock, which these days lives out of London's Heaven nightclub and operates as a hugely rated independent label. Digweed is also one of the most popular Brit DJs in America, having maintained a weekly residence at New York's Twilo from 1997 right up until it was shut down by city authorities this May. His US popularity is matched virtually everywhere else, and these days he regularly spins on all five continents. Skrufff's Angie Ng chatted to John just after he'd finished rocking a euphoric Malaysian crowd in Kuala Lumpur.
Skrufff (Angie Ng): "Over the last few years you've become one of the world's biggest DJs ; how much has it increased the pressure you feel before you DJ-
John Digweed: "I always thought the bigger you get the easier it gets but it's actually a lot harder. Obviously there are increased expectations but I'm always one of those DJs who tries to play better every time and to have that pressure keeps you on your toes. So, it's good to have that pressure. It goes with the territory."
Skrufff : Speaking of bettering yourself, how much energy do you have to devote to learning new DJ skills or checking out new equipment-
John Digweed : "I own a couple of the Pioneer CD players which I'm getting OK at using but I still love playing vinyl. There's something about vinyl which just sounds better and being able to touch it with your fingers is better. I play CDs when I have to, but I still prefer to use vinyl. As for mixers, there's this new Alan and Heath mixer, which has just come out and it has these great little filters on them, so you can really mess sounds up. That's the latest mixer which I really like using, but you can't get too used to one type of mixer because every time you go into clubs, they've got all different ones. So you have to make sure you're good with everything."
Skrufff : How much were you driven to turn yourself into a globe trotting DJ-
John Digweed: " I evolved with the scene so it wasn't the case that as I was growing up I was thinking, 'Oh I wanna go and be a DJ because they're travelling all over the world' because DJs weren't doing that back then. I started playing abroad when everyone else started travelling as well. Back then, I might get a phone call for a gig and I'd be like "What- You want me to play in Australia- I've never even been there before-" (laughing). Then suddenly you get more calls asking, "Do you want to play in Germany, Norway, Ibiza…". These odd trips start bouncing on one off the other and suddenly six months have passed and you've spent hardly any time in England. You're just constantly at Heathrow airport. BUT one of the things I wanted to do if I didn't make it as a DJ was to travel, so I've managed to combine both."
Skrufff: It's a shame you don't get much time to play at being a tourist…
John Digweed: "But it's still better than not seeing anything at all. To meet loads of cool people within the scene is one the greatest things as well. We travel in America, Australia, Europe and all these places and I've got so many good connections that even if I go out on my own, there's plenty of people to hang out with and have a good time. So it's not like I'm arriving in a hotel room and sitting there on me own, feeling bored."
Skrufff: Do you ever get so tired that you secretly wish that you didn't have to do the next gig-
John Digweed: "No, though I do get tired sometimes, especially because of the jet-lag. When I came here this time, I was thinking 'Oh- I'll be alright with the jet-lag' but as I soon as I got here I was like 'Oh no!' (chuckling) I was awake till about 4.30 this morning, lying in bed going 'Arrghh'. Jet lag is the one thing I can't deal with. There's Tags